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Learning from the Pros: 3 Eye-Opening Home Maintenance Tips from IM Home Inspections

When it comes to maintaining our homes, there’s a wealth of advice out there. But how often do we get to peek behind the curtains and learn from the experts in the field – the home inspectors? This blog post does exactly that. We’re taking a unique approach by diving into the latest video from IM Home Inspections, revealing insights that usually stay hidden until you’re deep into a real estate transaction. Forget the usual “change your air filters” advice; we’re here to share real, hands-on tips straight from the field.

The Importance of Proactive Home Maintenance

Your home is more than a dwelling; it’s an investment. Proactive maintenance is the key to preserving its value and ensuring safety. Regular check-ups and repairs can prevent small issues from ballooning into costly disasters. It’s not just about fixing what’s broken; it’s about foreseeing potential problems and nipping them in the bud.

Overlooked Issues

Many homeowners, even some realtors, overlook crucial maintenance until it’s time for a transaction. This reactive approach can lead to unpleasant surprises and emergency expenses. For instance, a simple leak in the basement left unattended can become a major mold issue or a slightly faulty wiring can escalate to a full-blown electrical hazard.

Cost Savings

Proactive maintenance is a cost-effective strategy. Regularly inspecting and maintaining your home avoids the hefty costs associated with major repairs or replacements. Also, maintaining your home in top condition can significantly enhance its market value and appeal, a crucial factor if you’re considering selling. Remember this: you can always call for a home inspection for more reasons than just selling or buying. Quite often, the homeowner is unaware of issues going on in their home. Let’s be honest: most homeowners are not regularly crawling under their houses or attics. A home inspection is the ultimate honey-do list.

Next Up: Crazy Home Inspector Finds

Stay tuned as we delve into the “3 Crazy Home Inspector Finds” in the upcoming sections. We’ll discuss the underestimated importance of a sturdy stand and drip pan for your water heater, the hidden dangers of refurbished electrical panels, and the critical need for a TPR extension on your water heater. These insights from seasoned home inspectors are invaluable for every homeowner, buyer, and seller.

3 Crazy Home Inspector Finds!
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Crazy Find #1: The Water Heater Stand and Drip Pan

The Water Heater’s Inadequate Stand

In a recent inspection, home inspectors from IM Home Inspections came across a water heater with a stand that was not robust enough to support it. This is a common oversight but can have serious consequences. The right stand is not just about holding the water heater; it’s about ensuring stability and safety. A weak or inappropriate stand can lead to the water heater tilting or even toppling over, especially in areas prone to seismic activity. This could result in water damage, gas leaks, or worse.

Why a Drip Pan is Essential

Another surprising miss was the absence of a drip pan under the water heater. While it might seem like a small detail, a drip pan is crucial, especially for water heaters located inside the home, like in a garage. It collects any water that leaks from the water heater, preventing damage to floors and walls and mitigating the risk of mold growth. The pan also reduces the risk of water damage to belongings stored nearby.

Tips for Water Heater Stand and Drip Pan Maintenance

  1. Choose the Right Stand: Ensure the stand is made of durable material and is rated to support the weight of your water heater, including when it’s full of water.
  2. Regular Inspections: Check the stand periodically for signs of wear, rust, or instability.
  3. Install a Drip Pan: If your water heater doesn’t have one, install it. Ensure it’s properly connected to a drain or piped to an appropriate location outside your home.
  4. Keep the Area Clear: Avoid storing items under or around the water heater that could obstruct the stand or pan.

Protecting Water Heaters in the Garage

The inspectors emphasized the importance of protecting water heaters located in garages. Vehicles, tools, and general movement in the area can pose risks to the heater. It’s advisable to create a protective barrier around it to safeguard it from any physical impact.

Next, we’ll discuss the second crazy find about the refurbished electrical panels. This section will explain the risks associated with refurbished electrical panels and provide guidance on handling such situations. Let me know if there are any additional points or specific details you’d like included in this next section!

Crazy Find #2: Refurbished Electrical Panels – A Hidden Danger

The Issue with the Refurbished LOC Panel

A more alarming discovery I-Home Inspections made was a refurbished LOC electrical panel. At first glance, this might seem like a cost-effective solution. However, the risks associated with such refurbished panels often outweigh the initial savings. The inspectors noted that while the panel appeared functional, the refurbishment process could compromise the panel’s integrity. This is particularly concerning in older homes, where electrical demands have increased over the years.

Risks of Refurbished Electrical Panels

Refurbished panels may not meet current safety standards. Over time, connectors can loosen, and circuit breakers may not trip as intended, increasing the risk of electrical fires. Additionally, these panels might not be compatible with modern electrical appliances and devices, leading to overload and potential hazards.

Why a Full Replacement is Often Better

The inspectors stressed that, in many cases, replacing an old or refurbished panel with a new one is safer and more cost-effective in the long run. Modern panels are designed with current safety standards in mind, offering better protection against electrical fires and supporting today’s electrical loads.

Insurance Implications

A key point raised in the inspection video was the potential implications for homeowners’ insurance. Some insurance companies may not cover damages related to outdated or refurbished electrical panels. It’s crucial for homeowners to check with their insurance providers and ensure the presence of such panels doesn’t compromise their coverage.

Next Steps for Homeowners

  1. Consult a Professional Electrician: If you suspect your home has a refurbished or outdated panel, get it inspected by a licensed electrician.
  2. Consider Upgrading: If your panel is old or refurbished, seriously consider replacing it with a modern one that meets current safety standards.
  3. Stay Informed: Understand the specifics of your home’s electrical system and stay informed about any changes in safety regulations.

Crazy Find #3: The Necessity of a TPR Extension on Your Water Heater

Understanding the TPR Valve

In another insightful observation, I-Home Inspections highlighted the absence of a Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) extension on a water heater. The TPR valve is a critical safety feature on water heaters. It’s designed to release water if either the temperature or pressure inside the tank gets too high, preventing the risk of explosions.

The Missing TPR Extension

While most water heaters come with a TPR valve, the inspectors found that the extension, which directs any expelled water to a safe location, was missing. Without this extension, discharged water could cause damage or injury if it’s released uncontrollably within living spaces or storage areas.

The Dangers of Neglecting the TPR Extension

The lack of a TPR extension poses significant risks. If the valve opens due to excessive pressure or temperature, scalding hot water could spray out, damaging property or causing serious injuries. This is especially dangerous in enclosed spaces like a garage or a utility closet.

Maintenance Tips for Water Heater Safety

  1. Regular Checks: Regularly inspect the TPR valve and extension for signs of wear or damage.
  2. Test the Valve: It’s recommended to carefully test the TPR valve annually to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
  3. Professional Inspection: If you’re unsure about the condition or functionality of your TPR valve and extension, have it inspected by a professional.

What Can Happen Without a TPR Extension

The inspectors in the video vividly demonstrated the potential consequences of neglecting the TPR extension. In less than a minute, they provided crucial information on the importance of this often-overlooked feature, emphasizing how a simple addition can significantly enhance home safety.

Conclusion: Empowering Homeowners with Knowledge

As we wrap up our exploration of these three crazy finds from home inspectors, it’s clear that knowledge is power when it comes to home maintenance. Understanding and addressing these issues ensures your home’s safety and longevity and can save you from costly repairs and insurance headaches down the line.

Regular home inspections and proactive maintenance are key to a safe and sound home. We encourage all homeowners, buyers, and sellers to stay informed and consider regular professional inspections. Stay tuned for more valuable insights and tips.

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